A Vocational School that Educates Craftsmen in the Historic and Contemporary Trades
New Orleans has a rich and celebrated love affair with its historic architecture. The making of this architecture involved specific skill sets that were traditionally passed from one generation to the next. Masters and apprentices knowledgeable in ironwork, plastering, masonry and carpentry created the buildings that define this city. But, their numbers are steadily declining. As a result, the city risks losing a large area of wisdom that is needed to maintain and create new architectural gems that give New Orleans its unique identity.
A trade school that educated people in continuation of historic trades and the development of contemporary methods of making would be an essential resource needed to reinstate meaning, craft, and community to the New Orleans community. This school would be a revival of the guild system from the turn of the 19th century and would follow the master – apprentice pedagogy. This thesis will provide practical and theoretical foundations to support both the expansion and celebration of the trade school within the New Orleans community.